With all the rain, you knew this would happen.
The mosquitos have begun to feast.
But what you likely don't know is that they breed in the tiniest pools of water - even in a space as small as a discarded ice cube tray. They only needs 1/4 inch depth of water to multiply.
Judy Olsen, an author and genealogy researcher, used to call dead people whose records were missing "her people."
She refused to let them rest in obscurity. Once she was given a name, she would scour cemeteries, pore over yellowed records, and search the Web into the wee hours until she found a scintilla of information about that person's life. "Where are you?" she would mumble to herself.
In 2005, I interviewed Olsen in a weed-choked Pemberton cemetery. I watched in awe as she pointed out weathered headstones that seemed ready to topple but would not yield to time. Olsen would smile at the inscriptions and recount snippets of the lives of the people buried there long ago. Her tales were witty and also well-researched. You could feel her kinship with these folks.
Now that the final vote tallies are in, the summary report shows the contested GOP primary in Burlington County last week attracted more than twice as many voters as the norm. Still, the turnout was dismal. Voters where are you?
In the last three years, only nine percent of registered voters, on average, have bothered to go to the polls to vote in the June primaries. Really? In actual numbers, that's roughly 26,000 out of 270,000 registered voters, and a population of 450,000.
This year, it was no different, overall.
Lautenberg pioneered a smoking ban in planes in the '80s, and it ignited a movement.
Now smoking bans are on fire, spreading to sidewalks, beaches, and parks. Starting this month, smoking is banned at playgrounds, sporting and cultural events, gas stations and bus stops in all of Russia. The penalty? Up to 1500 rubles, says a Russian newspaper.
Burlington County's smokefree policy also began this month in its parks and on its hiking trails.
On Wednesday, NJ wildlife officials said they planned to let a black bear that was roaming about Burlington County alone. But early Thursday morning, he was laying in a net, face-down, after having been tranquilized with a dart gun. He was spotted in a backyard just a few hundred yards from a Delran nursery school.
Over the past week, witnesses reported seeing the bear swimming in Strawbridge Lake in Moorestown, eating seeds from bird feeders, and roaming through parts of Mount Laurel, Moorestown, Maple Shade, Westampton and Florence. They estimated he was 4-foot-tall and weighed about 400 pounds.
They weren't far off. Once captured and sedated, the bear was weighed and measured. He was 360 pounds - and 6-foot-tall. Even more surprising, he had a tag in his ear that showed he was the same bear that was roaming about Vineland a year ago. At that time, he was also captured and relocated.
There have been at least a half-dozen sightings of a black bear in Burlington County in the past week, but wildlife authorities say they will just let him be. That is, as long as he doesn't become aggressive. So far, he has not shown any threatening behavior and people have said they enjoy seeing him roaming about their neighborhoods.
What would be the point of tranquilizing him and relocating him to a woods or an animal preservation area? "There's no fences around these places and the bear can start moving again," said Larry Hajna, spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. (Check out the interactive map here)
"Generally… they’re young males looking for new territory to mate with females," he said.
Five giraffes that had survived a tragic 2011 fire at the Animal Kingdom Zoo were relocated to Six Flags Great Adventure where they grew accustomed to interacting with visitors as part of a special Close Encounters Tour.
This spring, Six Flags is launching a new Off Road Adventure where visitors ride open-air Safari vehicles into areas where they can feed the giraffes and some of the other animals. But the Animal Kingdom giraffes won't be among them.
The gentle creatures were returned to the small rural zoo in Springfield Township, Burlington County last fall after their barn was rebuilt. The blaze had killed a mother giraffe and her baby, but seven of the herd had escaped. Two of the survivors later died of complications from the October fire.
About 25 tea party members protested in Moorestown at Christie's fundraiser for the Burlington County Republican Committee Monday night. They stood on the sidewalk in front of the affluent town's community house and waved signs as Christie's black SUV breezed by them and traveled up a long driveway.
A few hundred well-heeled invited guests arrived earlier by limo, car and foot to raise money for the GOP committee's slate of candidates for county and state legislative offices. Christie was the guest of honor.
"Tired of Political Games - Vote Republicans4Burlco - Conservative Values" said one of the placards that was bouncing about during the hour-long demonstration. Other signs promoted the Second Amendment and a rival slate of GOP candidates that the West Jersey Tea Party is endorsing for county sheriff, freeholder and state assembly.